Saturday, June 28, 2014

Fwd: ABC's Bird of the Week: Chuck-will's-widow

For me,the bird of the spring bird club season was " Chuckie. "...see the ABC birds email about this species...

-----Original Message-----
To: prosbird
Sent: Fri, Jun 27, 2014 3:03 pm
Subject: ABC's Bird of the Week: Chuck-will's-widow

Milker of Goats?

Nocturnal Name-caller:

Chuck-will's-widow belongs to a family of birds with the folk name "goatsuckers." The family name, Caprimulgidae, literally means "milker of goats" and is based on an ancient belief that the birds milked goats with their enormous mouths each night.

In reality, the birds' attraction to livestock was likely due to the presence of insects. Chuck-will's-widow forages at dusk and dawn, silently swooping over the ground in search of prey. Specialized feathers known as rictal bristles help funnel insects into the bird's mouth, which is so large that they may occasionally swallow small birds and bats as well!

Read more and hear the "chuck's" song >>

Chuck-will's-widow by Dick Snell/Flickr
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American Bird Conservancy | P.O. Box 249 | The Plains, VA 20198